Fat Rosie's Taco & Tequila Bar’s executive chef Raoul Arreola draws on culinary experience including 12 years working with celebrated chef Rick Bayless to whip up dinner and weekend brunch menus featuring inventive Mexican fare with an emphasis on Oaxacan recipes. Eating ensembles can gear up for spirited conversation as they plunge homemade tortilla chips into the guacamole’s verdant avocado and serrano-chili depths. Taste buds escape on border-traversing sojourns with entrees such as fajitas that snuggle charred poblano peppers, queso fresco, and a choice of veggies, chicken, steak, or shrimp into a warm corn-tortilla sleeping bag. A quartet of Ensenada tacos packed with buttered tilapia and avocado mayonnaise torpedo growling tummy trolls, and the enchiladas con salsa Del Dia Tango bellies up to tables filled with cheese, picadillo, chicken, or steak. To quench mouths parched from reciting Pancho Villa's memoir, a Fat Rosie’s margarita floods tongue caves with a mélange of tequila, triple sec, and a house lime mix. On Thursday and Friday nights, mariachi music entertains diners and enables mouths to show off their choreographed chewing routines.
At Sergio?s Cantina, family recipes from Mexico envelop pork, steak, chicken, and tilapia joined by an array of margaritas and mojitos. Blue-backed booths support diners, and crispy deep-fried quesadillas fill stomachs. The fresh flavors of pico de gallo, poblano peppers, and mango salsa sit atop platters of tacos, tamales, and enchiladas. Colorful umbrellas sprout to shade outdoor patio seating, and waiters emerge from the dining room?s ocean murals and potted palms with mixed drinks in hand.
The chefs at Bien Trucha look south of the border for their inspirations, finding enough spicy meats and sauces to make their lunch and dinner menus stand out. Rather than rely on a simple spread of burritos and tacos, they stack skirt steak and breaded chicken breast on telera bread, brew soups with roasted poblano peppers, and stuff piñatas with queso fresco. Bright mixed greens and peaches enliven cottage cheese, and various salsas lend a kick to shredded swordfish, slow-roasted pork belly, and sautéed shrimp tacos.
The lengua burritos, Jarritos, and red and green sauces that smother enchiladas aren't the only authentic south-of-the-border touches at Changarro Cocina. Its drink list also brings some traditional flavor. The granite bar area, part of the new owner's renovations, hosts more than 70 different tequilas and margaritas made fresh without any mixers. Patrons sip these beverages while nibbling ceviche, huaraches, and tortas and cheering on soccer matches, baseball games, and ice-fishing tournaments broadcast on TVs throughout the restaurant.
“Best Mexican Restaurant I own!” Matt Waxler quips on his Facebook page, and it’s clear he really does enjoy the food he vends at North of the Border Mexican Restaurant. His menu diversifies burritos with more than the standard meat selections, stuffing in boneless chipotle seasoned wings, stir-fried shrimp, or steak with three kinds of jalapeños, a word which translates to English as “pepper of many guises.” American- and Mexican-style tacos vie for plate space, and strips of skirt steak simmer in a tomato and jalapeño sauce in the Bistek a la Mexicana, Mr. Waxler’s favorite dish.
Cooks at Chorizo Grill tuck chorizo and chicken into burritos and chimichangas while stacking fresh toppings onto sopes. Mexican entrees move to the forefront each weekend, with a special menu of gorditas and tacos rojos that are handmade with natural corn flour and topped with an array of specialty toppings, such as mole, pumpkin flowers, and corn truffles.